Ben Lippen ended one Hammond streak earlier this season. On Friday, it will try to end another.
The Falcons, who ended the Skyhawks’ 27-game winning streak on Sept. 9, will try and stop Hammond’s streak of title appearances when the two teams meet Friday at Eden Stadium in the SCISA 3A football semifinals. Hammond has made 10 consecutive state title appearances, winning eight of them.
Ben Lippen’s last state championship appearance came in 1998.
“This is a little uncharted territory for us,” Ben Lippen coach Derrick White said. “We are trying to build this program, and a win would be a big brick in the foundation we are trying to build.
“We are one of the only games in town this week, and this is going to be a great showcase for what SCISA has.”
There will be plenty of talent on both sides. Ben Lippen’s roster is filled with three Division I prospects – RB/WR Bryce Thompson, RB/LB Kyle Wright and quarterback Patrick McClure. Thompson, a Virginia Tech commit, ran for three touchdowns, returned an interception for a TD and also blocked a field goal in the 31-21 victory against Hammond earlier this year.
“They have so many weapons,” Hammond coach Erik Kimrey said. “Bryce is the guy who has the ability to bust any play, and Kyle Wright is having an amazing year and will play in a power-five school. Patrick McClure is an unsung hero and has a big-time arm. I have said all year they are the most talented team, and we have to play a complete football game to beat them.”
That’s something Hammond didn’t do in the first meeting. The Skyhawks turned it over seven times. Since the loss to Ben Lippen, Hammond has been on a roll. The Skyhawks are averaging 51.5 points per game, and their average margin of victory is 40.3 points. Quarterback Corbett Glick has completed a school-record 69.7 percent of his passes for 2,438 yards and 27 TDs. Receivers Lucas Prickett and Jack Theodore rank in the top five in the Midlands in receiving and running back Anthony Wilson has rushed for 13 touchdowns.
The young Skyhawks offensive line also has gotten better and healthier than earlier in the season and Hammond’s defense is giving up just 11.3 points per game.
“We didn’t know who we were (earlier in season), and we have a better understanding now,” Kimrey said. “That is one of the joys of being a coach – to teach them and see them advance from the beginning of a season until the end and watch the magic happen. That is why we, as coaches, do what we do.”
Week 12 Midlands Football picks
Brookland-Cayce at Edisto
Won’t be a letdown after B-C’s big win over Gilbert.
Buford at North Central
Season finale for North Central.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Dreher (Memorial Stadium)
Winner of game likely avoids trip to play Myrtle Beach next week.
Ben Lippen at Hammond
Hard to choose against Hammond in the postseason.
Last Week: 13-7